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January 24, 2012

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The internet can be a haven, yes, but we can also make it nearly as bouncy and noisy as Walgreens. I notice I've got eleven tabs open on one browser window at this very moment, and I am as scattered and smothered as a plate of hash browns at Waffle House (which I cannot go to at busy times because of bounce and noise).
The nature of the internet fractures me further. It provides a contrast, but not true respite, from real-time, face-to-face interaction.
So, I go outside. Fix the birdfeeder, plant something, fiddle with the chicken wire coming down off the posts, figure out what that tree is.
But yeah, the tendency to "fire hose" does have advantages, although I rarely think of it that way. If I was a graphic equalizer, my highs might be higher than most, even if my lows might be lower. But the stuff in the middle is just plain nuts.

This is the toughest thing for me to manage these days... finding the quiet time to keep myself together and functioning, but not being able to get it with any regularity due to the demands of my children, my job, my husband, my dog...my life. And not being able to adequately communicate that need to others in such a way that they really understand that sometimes it's like the entire world is shouting at me, making demands of me, that there are (lots of) times when I just can't process all of the information that is coming my way. Because if you don't experience these feelings firsthand, then it's hard to understand just exactly how invasive it feels. And how do you communicate this to a 6-year-old and 2.5-year-old when they themselves are struggling with a near-constant feeling of needing or wanting things/attention/etc.?

The most helpful definition of introvert vs. extrovert that I've found is that extroverts are energized by other people, whereas introverts get depleted when they are around others too long and need time alone to recharge. (I guess the extroverts are sucking the energy from us?) So it's not about shy/not shy, it's about needs. This helped my husband understand much better why I Just. Need. Time. Alone - especially when the house is full. I LOVE the house full, I just have to recharge every now and then. But, I am also shy, and I OVERfilter. So the internet helped me make friends that I never would have had and now feel like I couldn't live without.

Oooh. I was trying to explain this the other day to someone, how I basically have no filter, and you've just done it for me, so much better than I could. I've learned to filter, somewhat, what *I* say, but yes, I have a terribly difficult time filtering what comes *in*. For a long time I thought of myself as an introvert, but I've realized in the last couple of years I'm definitely not. I do get recharged by being around other people (sorry about sucking the energy, guys, really! I don't mean to!) It's just that sometimes it's overwhelming, and I have to MAKE myself be alone and quiet. I don't like it, but it does help. Very hard to explain.

I am far more cool on the internet than in real life.

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